By Laura Clarke

13 marzo, 17:26
FERRARI TO OPEN SECOND THEME PARK IN SPAIN (ANSA) - Maranello, March 13 - Iconic Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari on Thursday signed a licencing agreement to build a new own-brand theme park in the PortAventura resort near Barcelona in Spain. Ferrari Land - the second Ferrari theme park after Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi - will be created in conjunction with PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U., a subsidiary of Investindustrial group, which owns the Spanish resort. It is to cover 75,000 sqm and will include a variety of attractions for Prancing Stallion enthusiasts, including Europe's highest and fastest vertical accelerator.

The theme park will also contain the first Ferrari-themed hotel with 250 rooms, restaurants and a driving simulator.

It will involve an overall investment of 100 million euros and is due to officially open in 2016. PortAventura already welcomes four million visitors a year, of whom 50% come from outside Spain.

"PortAventura is a leader in the tourism sector in Europe," said Investindustrial Senior Partner Andrea Bonomi. "At the same time Ferrari is an icon representing the best of Made in Italy. The synergy between the two groups creates a powerful combination that will allow us to offer clients of both brands a unique experience," he continued.

"After the success of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi we received many, many requests to develop new amusement parks," said Andrea Perrone, CEO of Ferrari Brand, the Ferrari subsidiary that manages the label. "[This] is a very solid plan developed by competent people that will bring the magic of Ferrari to Spain, a nation where we have many supporters and enthusiasts, and to which large numbers of tourists flock each year," he added.

Ferrari World opened on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and is the largest indoor amusement park in the world. This year Ferrari topped the list of the 500 most powerful global brands for the second consecutive year.

The logo of the black prancing stallion came ahead of Coca Cola and the London-based financial services company PricewaterhouseCoopers respectively in second and third place, with Google fifth and Disney 10th on the asset-valuation company Brand Finance's annual brand strength index.

The luxury motor-vehicle brand is "instantly recognisable the world over, even where paved roads have yet to reach," said Brand Finance CEO David Haigh.

"Ferrari inspires more than just brand loyalty, more of a cultish, even quasi-religious devotion, its brand power is indisputable," he continued.

The Italian carmaker made it to the top spot for its desirability, loyalty, consumer sentiment, visual identity, online presence and employee satisfaction.

As well as gaining the highest score again, Ferrari was one of only 11 companies, including Google, Coca Cola, Hermes, Red Bull and Disney, to be awarded the ultimate AAA+ status in the study.

"We are happy: despite the size of the firm we have done a good job in boosting the exclusivity of the brand," Ferrari President Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said.

In testimony to its appeal, Ferrari posted record revenues, profits and cash flow in 2013 despite intentionally selling fewer cars.

Net profit rose 5% despite a 5% fall in car sales.